Donald Healey Motor Company U.K.

Donald Healey Motor Company U.K.

Donald Healey Motor Company U.K.


Donald Healey

The Cape, Warwick, U.K.


Donald Healey Motor Company Limited was a British car manufacturer.. In 1945 the company was founded by Donald Healey. Donald Healey was a successful rally driver and a car designer. Healey discussed sports car design with Achille Sampietro, a chassis specialist for high performance cars and Ben Bowden, a body engineer, when all three worked at Humber during World War II. In 1950, Healey built the Nash-Healey using a Nash Ambassador engine with SU carburettors and Nash gearbox. Initially the 3848 cc unit was used but when in 1952 body construction was transferred from Healey to Pininfarina the larger 4138 cc engine was fitted.



Healey Motor Company Limited focused on producing expensive, high-quality, high-performance cars. Healey Motor Company was based in an old aircraft components factory off Miller Road in Warwick. The cars mainly used a tuned version of the proven Riley twin-cam 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine in a light steel box-section chassis of their own design using independent front suspension by coil springs and alloy trailing arms with Girling dampers. The rear suspension used a Riley live axle with coil springs again. The advanced design of the car allow soft springing to be combined with excellent road holding. The cars uses the lockheed hydraulic brakes.

The Elliott was introduced in 1948 which claimed to be the fastest production closed car in the world, timed at 104.7 mph over a mile. Benjamin Bowden designed the aerodynamic body and unusually for the time it was tested in a wind tunnel to refine its efficiency. This gives the start to aerodynamic styling for reduced drag, that culminated in Bowden's last UK offering, the Zethrin Rennsport. In 1949, the Silverstone was announced which was the most sporting of all the Healeys. The Silverstone have a shorter chassis and stiffer springing and was capable of 107 mph. The final Healey car of this era was the G-Type using an Alvis TB21 engine and gearbox. This was more luxurious and heavier than the Riley engined models and performance suffered.



Healey judged that the cheaper sports car must come in the market with large quantity to save the business, and also it must be fit between the MG and Jaguar which are selling well at that time in USA. Healey designed a two-seat roadster employing numerous low-cost Austin components and named the car as, Austin-Healey 100. Healey worked with his eldest son Geoffrey to make the Austin-Healey 100. Sir Leonard Lord, Austin chief was so impressed when he saw it, he offered to make it in his own factories under the name Austin-Healey. In 1953, a joint venture created the British Motor Corporation to manufacture the Austin-Healey marque. The 100 evolved into the highly regarded and collector coveted 3-litre Austin-Healey 3000, followed by a diminutive 950cc Austin-Healey Sprite, known affectionately as the "frog-eye"or"Bugeye".



Share post